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Inspiring vision, proactive planning tops agenda for C-N Board of Trustees

If there is a primary take away from Carson-Newman’s Board of Trustees fall meeting, it is that the University is committed to a proactive stance on planning for its future.

“I am grateful for a Board of Trustees who wants to see Carson-Newman’s mission and vision advanced,” said President Charles A. Fowler. “Their votes last week were significant. They demonstrated their confidence in our mission and communicated their enthusiasm for building and resourcing a meaningful and impactful vision for our future.”

Along with celebrating a balanced budget for 2021-22, the board voted unanimously on several key issues, including approving the Year One Annual Report for Acorns to Oaks, C-N’s 5-year strategic plan launched last year. The assembly also approved an amended budget for 2022-23.

One of the highlights from the meeting was the board’s approval of a new Campus Master Plan. “This plan will guide our decision-making over the next 20 years regarding construction, renovation, and overall campus experience,” Fowler said. “The Campus Master Plan is inspiring and will help give us a trajectory for campus planning and a tangible vision to share with donors. We must have a plan for the future, and that plan must be a plan for success. We are grateful that the trustees have given us this framework to begin working and planning how our campus will change over the next 20 years.” 

The board also approved a letter of intent to allow for a planning process to design a new residence life complex. In the coming months, administrators will have a specific plan for the student-housing facility. Once the exploratory measures are concluded, plans will be presented to the board for approval.

As part of his President’s Report, Fowler announced the formation of a steering committee to plan for the University’s 175th year celebration in 2026. He shared the growing anticipation of commemorating the milestone event with alumni and friends. Committee members are Sheryl Gray, serving as chair, Becky Boatright, Vickie Butler, Al Lang, Brian Smith, Suzanne Strudwick, Kevin Triplett and Gloria Walker.

“My heart is encouraged by the decisions made when I reflect on last week’s meeting,” Fowler said. “Now, as administration, faculty, and staff, we need to take the assignments given to us by the board last week related to Acorns to Oaks, the planning process for a new residence life complex, and other initiatives. We shall begin our work with Christ-centered excellence to see these projects move forward for the good of our beloved University and the Glory of God.”

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